Since the passage of the federal Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003, 22 states have reformed their child welfare laws to require child protective services workers to be trained in citizens’ 4th Amendment rights and to reveal allegations at the time of investigation.
Passing in 2007, Nevada Senate Bill 404 eliminated over 50% of the existing homeschool regulation, including the unconstitutionally vague requirement that homeschoolers provide “equivalent instruction” to that of the public school.
In 2006, Virginia House Bill 1340 changed the parent education requirement under one of the state’s homeschool options: now a parent need only possess a
high school diploma, not a bachelor’s degree, in order to homeschool.
In 2004, six families filed statements with their school districts under Pennsylvania’s newly enacted Religious Freedom Protection Act declaring that the state’s stringent home education law substantially burdened their free exercise of religion. These school districts rejected the statements and prosecuted the families for truancy. On August 21, 2008, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the families. HSLDA is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On June 26, 2008, the Parental Rights Constitutional Amendment bill (House Joint Resolution 97) was introduced
by Rep. Pete Hoekstra in the House
of Representatives. This amendment would protect parental rights—which
are foundational to the right to homeschool—from future erosion by our own culture or international law.
Homeschooling parents in New Hampshire and Vermont used to have a wagonload of paperwork to turn in each year. But in 2006, the state legislatures significantly reduced required paperwork.
On July 16, 2008,
the D.C. State Board
of Education passed
requiring parents to
submit an annual
notification of intent to
homeschool, maintain a
portfolio of students’ work, and undergo
up to two annual portfolio reviews by
the Office of the State Superintendent of
Education (OSSE) to determine whether a homeschool program is providing “regular, thorough instruction.” The OSSE has arbitrary discretion to implement these provisions.
In a unanimous decision in the case In re Rachel L., handed down on August 8, 2008, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld parents’ right to homeschool under the private school exemption. This completely reversed an opinion issued by the same three-judge panel in February 2008, which would have made California the only state in the union to outlaw home education.